Burngreave Messenger.
Issue 39 March 2004

Butterfly.Domestic Abuse Project Launch

It is estimated that 20,000 women in Sheffield live with domestic abuse. It accounts for a quarter of all violent crime and half of all female homicides. The Burngreave Domestic Abuse Project is holding its launch this month and will start to offer practical and emotional support and outreach to families in the Burngreave area.

Domestic abuse can take many forms, physical, emotional, financial or sexual, but it is always about one person exerting power and control over another in a family setting. Usually it is a man abusing his partner, but other family members also abuse women; men can also be victims. Domestic abuse cuts across all classes and cultures, it can happen to anyone.

This new project will offer a confidential support service to women and children living in Burngreave who are affected by domestic abuse. Trained staff, including an Urdu, Punjabi and Mirpuri speaker will be running a weekly drop in session at Ivy Lodge and their new help-line will be open 9.30–4pm. Individual support workers can offer telephone support and home visits, as well as help getting other support, including finding suitable refuge accommodation. As one of the new Support Workers explained:

“We’re here to listen and to help women identify their options, not to make decisions for them. I’ve worked in a women’s refuge and as a family support worker for social services and I’ve seen the effects domestic abuse has on women and children. I’m really excited to be part of this obviously needed new project. I hope we can help women change their lives and make positive choices, and improve the potential for their children as well.”

“Domestic abuse isn’t always recognised or acknowledged, especially if it isn’t physical."

The project manager explained that women often look for support in a crisis or following domestic abuse and it’s important there’s a support network they can turn to, but it often takes a long time to feel able to leave. Figures show that women stay in abusive relationships for, on average, 7–12 years before they leave, sometimes tolerating abuse until children leave home. “We’re here to support women with whatever decision they decide to take,’’ she said.

“Domestic abuse isn’t always recognised or acknowledged, especially if it isn’t physical. Parents often don’t realise it is affecting their children, but I’ve seen how it affects those as young as two. Even if they don’t see the abuse they can hear what goes on, they pick up on people’s feelings and all the tension. Children aren’t silly, domestic abuse affects them in lots of ways.”

The project is being run by a committee of local women and has funding from the Burngreave New Deal and SureStart for the next three years and is supported by the North Sheffield PCT, Arches Housing and the Sheffield Domestic Abuse Forum.

Coming Out Strong
Mark Lankshear talks to a woman brave enough to speak about her experiences of the sexual and emotional abuse her husband put her through. Now, she says, she’s come out strong and positive with a message for other women, ‘You’re not alone...'

See also:
Contact List for Advice & Support on Domestic Abuse in Sheffield


Burngreave Domestic
Abuse Project

Offering confidential practical and emotional support to women who have experienced domestic abuse, helping to change their situation and recover from their experience. The team includes English, Urdu, Punjabi and Mirpuri speakers, other translators can be arranged.
Helpline: 0114 272 6021
available after the launch 24th March
Project Launch
Official speakers
Storytelling, artwork, poetry
& a fine lunch
Free crèche – limited spaces
first-come, first-serve basis
23rd March, 10.30am–3pm
Verdon Recreation Centre
and the Furnival
Drop-in session
Ivy Lodge Clinic, 2–3.30pm,
every Thursday, starting 24th March

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Index for Issue 39 March 2004.